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Despite listening to them on John Peel as a teenager, I didn’t see The Shapes live until this very week. Yes, the original classic line-up (Seymour Bybuss (vox), Brian Helicopter (bass), Steve Richards (guitar), Tim Jee (guitar) and drummer Dave Gee) are doing a few gigs before Rebellion in London on Saturday Dec 13th.


It’s freezing cold but we finally locate the Crypt… hadn’t been there in twelve years. A friendly doorman ushers us in to the quirky electro-pop sound of young support band ‘To The Moon Alice’. By 10.30 The Shapes hit a rather small stage (well, small for five people - wasn’t sure they’d all fit on). Fantastic front-man Seymour wears a wonderful black suit adorned with red cut-out shapes, busman’s hat and creepers. No-one would guess they haven’t performed together for years; it’s very tight and professional. During introductions Brian Helicopter says he’s travelled miles from the USA so deserves an even bigger cheer.



We get all the old faves; ‘Let’s Go To Planet Skaro’, ‘College Girls’, ‘Business Calls’,  ‘(I Saw) Batman (In The Launderette)’, ‘Leamington’, ‘Wot’s For Lunch Mum (Not Beans Again)’, ‘Jennifer The Conifer’, etc. Tunes guaranteed to make the most miserable person smile from ear to ear. No encore, unlike Saturday night in Leamington… maybe they were knackered, or perhaps the crowd didn’t yell enough.


If you’ve not seen The Shapes already this week I urge you to get hold of ‘Songs for Sensible People’, available from





Review by Shelley Guild

Pics from Phil Guild


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